Ventnor Winter Gardens meeting: The outcome

Owner of Winter Gardens “absolutely committed” to project, despite no schedule of works being presented to councillors.

Winter Gardens

A meeting between Ventnor town council Isle of Wight council officers and the new owner of the Ventnor Winter Gardens (VWG) was held on Friday 19th July 2013.

Deputy leader for the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Steve Stubbings told OnTheWight readers last week that VGW owner, Kevin Sussmilch had called the meeting to discuss the future of the iconic cliff-top venue which has remained empty for the last two years.

Cllr Stubbings has told OnTheWight this afternoon that the meeting was very amicable and that Mr Sussmilch was “absolutely committed” to continuing with the project to redevelop the Winter Gardens.

Site hoardings be erected
The Ventnor Town Council expressed their concerns to Mr Sussmilch about the security of the building.

It was agreed that work would commence imminently to secure the building and erect hoardings around the perimeter of the site, with an artist’s impression of what we can expect to see upon completion.

No schedule of works
Cllr Stubbings confirmed that no schedule of works was presented or details of contractor supplied to those attending the meeting.

As readers may remember, at the beginning of last month, The Hambrough Group told OnTheWight they had not yet appointed contractors for the work.

We’ve been in touch with The Hambrough Group to find out if this has changed and whether they have a schedule of works. We’ll let you know once we hear back.

Press release from Ventnor Town Council
Below is the press release sent out on behalf of the Ventnor Town Council tonight.

Monday, 22nd July, 2013 8:55pm



Filed under: Isle of Wight News, Top story, Ventnor

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17 Comments on "Ventnor Winter Gardens meeting: The outcome"

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‘ Imminently ‘ This week? Next week? November 2012? ‘ Loss of two chefs ‘ Were they going to build it? I’ll reserve further judgement for a week or two but I’m not getting my hopes up.

steve s

Apologies for not making it clearer. It was only Ventnor’s Clerk, David Bartlett, and myself, as mayor, that met with the Hambrough owner.


Can I add that the artists impression in the picture is disgusting and totally out of keeping with our Victorian town. Let’s hope we get something more sympathetic ( It even makes the Cape Cod boatyard look good! ).


When the Winter Gardens were built in 1936, there was a lot of opposition because townfolk felt this new Art Deco style did not belong in a Victorian town.
Then it became an iconic building.
Give it time CB500.


Hardly any wonder he can’t hold onto his staff. IMO the sooner VWG is totaltroniced the better as then it can be put to a more suitable use than a trough for the pretentious elite, and one that might actually end up being more than just a load of exaggerated bluster.


“absolutely committed” and “It was agreed that work would commence imminently”
Am i missing something – like a date???
Is it possible to be any more vague?

Is something being held back – again???


So how does losing two chefs in rapid succession delay proposed building work? I would have thought the absence of drama queens who show off throwing their weight around in kitchens would have proved advantageous in speeding up the process rather than delaying it.


Can I ask when the work going to start on the building?

Are we going to see it open and being used by next summer and will yet another year go by before anything happens?


Margie – it is very clear from above that the Hamborough Group have still not given any schedule on this, despite Steve Stubbing’s efforts over the last few months.


Excuse me for asking Richard, but steve s said last week that he would be pressing them for a schedule of works.

Excuse me for asking Richard, but steve s’s efforts have been instrumental in the progress/demise (you decide) of the Winter Gardens for more than the last few months, years more like. What is the relevance of ‘the schedule of works’? The Winter Gardens of old have gone. I suspect (forgive me if I’m wrong – time will tell) that the terms of sale and benefits to the… Read more »
Michael G

Hear hear. Why shouldn’t we ask when the work is going to start? We’ve been waiting for over two years and deserve some answers.

My fear is that Mr Suzzmilch will just put the hoardings up and hope we forget what’s hidden behind it.


Hang on – I am not saying we shouldn’t ask! I agree with all you are saying re the state of the WG current and future – I just thought it was clear in the article that the Hambrough had not brought anything to the meeting.

Anthony Wood

He couldn’t have pressed very hard then!!


I’m pleased to hear that there is some movement at last at the Winter Gardens, but have the same fears as Michael G.

I’d feel more comfortable knowing whether a contractor has actually been appointed and when works are going to start.


Yes I agree, and that is what I hoped the meeting would achieve also. It would seem to me that to have not appointed a contractor at this stage for a project of this scale will take months, even a year(s)!

Anthony Wood

What movement Susan?